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Woman who kidnapped baby sees sentence reduced, attempted murder charge dropped

Yin Sotheara, 34, who kidnapped a baby girl in 2017, had her sentence reduced from 11 years to four years by the Appeal Court on Monday. Kim Sarom
Yin Sotheara, 34, who kidnapped a baby girl in 2017, had her sentence reduced from 11 years to four years by the Appeal Court on Monday. Kim Sarom

Woman who kidnapped baby sees sentence reduced, attempted murder charge dropped

A 34-year-old woman who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last July for briefly kidnapping a baby had her sentence reduced today to four years by the Appeal Court.

Appeal Court Judge Yun Narong announced the verdict to Yin Sotheara, stating that her charge had been changed from “attempted murder,” under Article 199 of the criminal code, to “unlawful removal of a minor”, under Article 9 of the Law on Anti-Human Trafficking.

During an appeal hearing beginning January 15, Sotheara told the judge that she loved the baby girl and had not intended to kill her.

In March 2017, Sotheara briefly took the baby from her friend, Meas Sovanna. She sealed the infant’s mouth with tape and put her in a plastic bag before using a rope to lower her to the street.

The next day, feeling remorse, Sotheara returned the baby to her mother, concealing the baby in a storage area under the seat of her motorbike as she travelled to Sovanna’s home.

Sotheara’s lawyer Chea Sokha said the appeal against the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s verdict from 2017 was made because her client never had a plan to kill the baby. Prosecutor Hean Rith also told the court that he supported changing the charge.

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